The UAE's No 1 golfer Ahmed Skaik will compete at this year’s Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship having received the UAE National Amateur invite on behalf of the Abu Dhabi Sports Council.
Skaik will have the chance to test his skills against some of the best players in the world, including four-time major winner Rory McIlroy and world No 3 Justin Thomas.
The 23-year-old Emirati made his European Tour debut at last year's Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship and went on to win the 2020 UAE Presidents Cup before clinching two Men’s Open tiles to finish as runner-up in the EGF Order of Merit rankings.
At the end of last season, Skaik competed in another European Tour event at the Golf in Dubai Championships.
“It is a privilege to receive the invitation to return to the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship," Skaik said. “It was an incredible experience last year and a pivotal learning curve in my career. I can’t wait to go back and give my all alongside some of the best players in the world.
“It was great to get out at the Golf in Dubai Championships a few weeks ago, and it was a huge honour to hit the first tee shot on UAE National Day.
“I can take some vital lessons from those rounds into next week. Given it is the 50th anniversary of the UAE it is even more special to play in this tournament, and I’m determined to put in a performance to make my nation proud.”
The 2021 Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship, taking place January 21-24, is the first tournament of the new European Tour season and will be one of four Rolex Series events played across the year.
“We are delighted to welcome back Ahmad to the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship. He is the shining star of Emirati golf and destined for great things in the future," Aref Al Awani, general secretary of the Abu Dhabi Sports Council, said.
“Abu Dhabi has become of one of the world’s leading destinations for sport and with ambassadors such as Ahmad we hope to continue to inspire future generations of sportsmen and women for years to come.”
First staged in 2006, the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship is hosted at the Abu Dhabi Golf Club for the 16th consecutive year, with a prize fund of $8 million and 8,000 Race to Dubai points available.